Danny Dorn gave the Aces a 5-4 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning Sunday night at Aces Ballpark.
The Aces’ win, along with the Sacramento River Cats’ loss in Nashville, cut Reno’s deficit to one game in the race for the Pacific Northern Division title.
Omaha stormed to an early lead in the first when Johnny Giavotella and Carlos Peguero smacked back-to-back two-out doubles for a 1-0 lead. Catcher Francisco Pena followed Peguero’s double with a two-run homer, his 27th of the year.
A throwing error by Storm Chasers shortstop Pedro Ciriaco benefited the Aces in the bottom of the first. Nick Ahmed led off with an infield single that Ciriaco threw down the right-field line, allowing Ahmed to second. He later scored on a wild pitch to trim the lead to 3-1.
Both starters, Reno’s Andrew Chafin and Omaha’s John Lamb settled in as the score remained 3-1 until the sixth when the Aces got to Omaha’s bullpen.
Reliever Blake Wood relieved Lamb to start the sixth inning and allowed a lead-off home run to Andy Marte to cut the lead to 3-2. Garrett Weber then drew a walk, and Mike Jacobs belted a two-run homer to give Reno a 4-3 lead.
Chafin worked six innings for the Aces before turning the game over to the bullpen. The Storm Chasers came back and tied the game in the seventh when Ciriaco came through with a two-out base hit to score Brian Bocock with the tying run.
Kevin Munson worked a scoreless eighth and Jake Barrett matched Munson with a scoreless ninth inning, clearing the way for the game-winner.
Ronny Cedeno started the bottom of the ninth with an infield single and quickly moved to second when Roger Kieschnick hit one through the right side for a base hit. Bobby Wilson moved both runners up 90 feet to second and third, and Ahmed was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Dorn hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Chris Dwyer into centerfield, deep enough to score Cedeno from third with the winning run. It’s the seventh walk-off win for the Aces in 2014.
Game two of the series is set for Monday night at Aces Ballpark. Right-hander Bradin Hagens (0-1, 1.80) starts for the Aces against right-hander Clayton Mortensen (5-3, 3.82) for the Storm Chasers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.